As Thanksgiving approaches, many of us are already creating our lists. We are focused and detail-oriented, thoughtful and precise. Wait! To be sure you and I are on the same page—I’m not talking about the Thanksgiving dinner shopping list or the Christmas wish list! No, right now I am pondering the list of all of the blessings God is showering on each of us in daily life.
I wonder what it might look like if our Sunday School classes created some sort of blessing or gratitude list that the class could participate in all month? It might be as simple as posting a large sheet of butcher paper and asking kids to write their name and the thing they are thankful for that day. They can come back week after week and add to it. What if you could add your own items and encourage the whole group to think about and thank God for these blessings every day?
I’m curious what could happen if you communicated with families to create similar lists for use during their daily prayers or family devotions? What might the dinner table look like with a piece of paper, colored over with different items? Would dinner have a different feel to it?
What if the bathroom mirror had index cards with various people or thoughts tucked into the frame? Would the morning be a little more thankful, a little less rushed? How might the car’s radio screen look with a bright sticky note with a prayer of thanks stuck to it? Would traveling conversations be more lively and open?
Each week, every single week—TOO MANY WEEKS!—we see and hear about awful things happening in our neighborhoods, communities, cities, and nation, not to mention all over the world. Bad news sells, but it also robs us of the joy God gives us as we become focused on what isn’t happening or what went wrong.
I wonder if you would join me in this little experiment? If our cars and homes were adorned with the beautiful things God is doing for us, if our church Sunday School classrooms were decorated with collected lists from children and families—how might it reorient our minds toward all of the good that God is able to do, no matter the circumstances? I have a strong belief that this would be an amazing gift to our church, to our families, and to our children! Why not give it a try?
Oh, and what about this for a bonus? Take a photo of the compiled list once it’s full and make postcards from the picture to send to shut-ins or someone who is serving in the military! Have the children write an encouraging note on the back. We might just share the wonder and awesome blessings from God with others who might need to be encouraged! I hope you will join me in looking for and thanking God for His love and care for us each and every day.